Sometimes all it takes is a small tweak to an existing game to make it seem completely new again. While we’ve all played variations around the “tank shoots other tanks” theme, the tank-shooting genre hasn’t really changed that much over the past couple of decades.
!i (“Not I”) only makes one tweak to this formula. Black tanks sit on a black landscape against a white background and fire their bullets at other tanks. Except the other tanks are white tanks, sitting on a white landscape against a black background. The black tank’s bullets increase the white landscape, completely obscuring (and destroying) the white tanks in the process. The white tank’s bullets increase the black landscape, doing the same for the black tanks.
It’s a bit of a mind-bender to wrap your head around in text. Fortunately it’s a small download and makes a lot more sense once you actually play the game. You can flip the screen to see either the white or the black landscape right-side up, and the interface text works in both directions, though it’s a little funky and hard to read sometimes.
The one small tweak to the gameplay completely changes the strategy from most tank-shooters. Shooting straight down sometimes makes a lot of sense. You can’t hurt friendly tanks with your bullets; all it does is move the ground under their feet a bit. Most importantly, strategizing while thinking upside down proves more difficult than it sounds, at least to me.
Why You Should Check This Out: !i is a twist on the stalwart tank-shooting genre. The game completely changes the formula with one little change in mechanics. It definitely stretches the mind to contemplate the upside-down combat. !i is a game that can take a simple mechanic and change your perspective on a simple, well-tread genre.